Cooler Master Mastercase NC100 and Intel NUC 9 ECE Review
Published: 23rd August 2020 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: |
If you've been aware of the NC100 then you might be shocked to see that our model is white, rather than the black that is in all the pre-launch advertising. There are going to be a few white ones, but in incredibly limited numbers and we're very fortunate to have got our hands on a pre-release model. Pre-order if you desire this palest hue.
Besides the size, which can be extrapolated just by looking at the USB ports on the front although will be clearer in a moment, the most striking thing is how much of the case is dedicated to vent holes. When you've got an 8 core CPU you need all the cooling you can get and Cooler Master have kept up their reputation for excellent airflow in the Mastercase NC100.
Just because it's small doesn't mean that there is any compromise in build quality either. It's exactly as good as you'd expect a Cooler Master case to be, just in the kind of size you could slip into a large pocket. Every where you look there is the rhomboid and diamond pattern venting pushing air out of every space it can find.
Your first glimpse inside gives away how compact the NC100 is. It's about six PCI Express slots wide and about as deep as a large GPU. If you've got an interest in engineering them this is a great case study (ha) about how to contain everything in a small footprint without compromising functionality in the pursuit of form. You'll also note that every panel has a dust filter on it, largely because every panel has venting holes.
The PSU is also very small, as it has to be. We know that nearly every line here has mentioned the size, but that's the key take away from the NC100. Excellent build quality for sure, but it's like someone has put an ATX system on a boil wash and shrunk it. Even an ITX system looks overly large in comparison. The tiny 650W power supply begins to show off how carefully Cooler Master have designed this.
This is the connector into which you plug the Intel NUC. All will become clear when you see it on the next page, although you can catch a glimpse in the photo below.
Those of you with sausages for fingers need not apply. Cooler Master have done an amazing job of giving you the best possible ergonomics for building the system, but the reality is that anything this tiny will always end up being a little fiddly to build. It's not frustrating, there is a clear order than you need to follow to get everything in. It's worth noting Cooler Master say an RTX 2080 Ti isn't a recommended fit, but it does fit and, as we'll see in our results, isn't at all hampered.